There's two things we know for sure about director J.J. Abrams: he won't tell you a damned thing about his movies, and he really loves lens flares. Lens flares are a photographic effect that create a haze in the motion picture image you see in films like Star Trek, Super 8 and Star Trek Into Darkness, and Abrams' love of the visual technique has been widely noticed, and often mocked, by fans of his movies.
So when CraveOnline cornered J.J. Abrams on the red carpet for the Star Trek Into Darkness Blu-ray release party, we had to ask him… What's up with those lens flares? His answer may be the most surprising thing he's done in years. He apologized.
"I know I get a lot of grief for that," says Abrams. "But I'll tell you, there are times when I'm working on a shot, I think, 'Oh this would be really cool… with a lens flare.' But I know it's too much, and I apologize. I'm so aware of it now. I was showing my wife an early cut of Star Trek Into Darkness and there was this one scene where she was literally like, 'I just can't see what's going on. I don't understand what that is.' I was like, 'Yeah, I went too nuts on this.'"
"This is how stupid it was," J.J. Abrams added. "I actually had to use ILM [Industrial Light & Magic] to remove lens flare in a couple of shots, which is, I know, moronic. But I think admitting you're an addict is the first step towards recovery."
We followed up with a question about the future of Star Trek on television, which, sadly, Abrams says there is no hope for. Watch the video to learn more.
Star Trek Into Darkness, lens flare and all, is now available on DVD and Blu-ray.